Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has welcomed the announcement of a new regional Mental Health Crisis Service in line with a commitment in the Mental Health Action Plan (MHAP).
The Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health said:
“I welcome the announcement of a new regional Mental Health Crisis Service as promised within the Mental Health Action Plan (MHAP) from last year. Crisis services are an integral part of mental health and suicide prevention services.
“I have consistently called on the Minister and the Department to treat the review of crisis services with the utmost urgency. I am glad this review has now been published as it has been with the Minister since April.
“The new regional crisis service must provide support for some of the most vulnerable patients, so they are able to access care and treatment when they need it, where they need it.
“Current mental health services are not equipped to deal with the large and growing volume of people who are suffering in crisis. Emergency Departments are not the right places or environments to treat this type of illness but sadly for many they have no other option, this must change as soon as possible.
“I support the aim to reduce the number of people who have to wait longer than two hours for crisis support as laid out in the Regional You in Mind Mental Health Care Pathway; and also reducing the number of people who attend Emergency Departments in crisis.
“It is vital that communities and community groups are partners at all stages of developing crisis services. I urge the Minister, the Public Health Authority and the Health and Social Care Board to ensure communities and the public have a full say in the development of community crisis services.
“I welcome the commitment from the Minister that the first phases of implementation of the new service can start immediately, as this will help ease the demand on services under pressure as a result of COVID-19.”